Camden Enterprise District – Securing Camden’s Inclusive Growth
Camden is home to a diverse mixture of business clusters in high growth sectors. Camden Town is a well-established centre for the creative industries, and King’s Cross has emerged in recent years as a tech hub. Euston, home to world-leading medical research institutions including University College London and the Francis Crick Institute, is swiftly growing as London’s Life Sciences nucleus. Both King’s Cross and Camden Town have witnessed major regeneration in the last two decades, and with the advent of HS2, Euston will soon be the centre of major development work.
To date, developments across these three areas have tended to be uncoordinated. This has limited the extent to which the combined strengths of these business clusters are able to be harnessed, and it has also led to a shortage of affordable workspace. For these reasons, Camden Town Unlimited (CTU) and Euston Town (ET) have been exploring the possibilities for establishing a Camden Enterprise District - a combined business cluster intended to provide SMEs with security and support to scale-up – across the Camden Town, King’s Cross and Euston areas.
As a first step, we commissioned an economic analysis report from Volterra Partners to provide an assessment of the combined area’s existing performance, highlight its future potential and analyse a range of funding mechanisms which could be employed to fully harness the area’s unique opportunities. The report concluded that acquiring land for a ‘C3’ mixed use development site is the best way to secure inclusive growth through provision of affordable workspace and housing.
Volterra estimated that setting up a Tax Increment Finance (TIF) zone covering the proposed Camden Enterprise District could provide £50 million of seed investment for an initial C3 mixed development site. The report found that the benefits of C3 development more broadly would support the area to achieve a high aspirational growth target that would increase the annual business rates paid in the area by £27m-£41m above the GLA’s target by 2036. The TIF funding could be repaid within five years with 100% retention of business rates or within 20 years with 25% retention.
This report will inform CTU and ET’s discussions with policymakers going forward on making the Camden Enterprise District a reality. The full report is available to download below.